My wife and I visited Chicago for New Years Eve, and we were enticed by the new and renowned Aqua building and decided to splurge and stay at the slightly more expensive Radisson Aqua.
You get a choice of City View (facing north and west) vs. Park view (facing east and south). I believe both sides should have good view, but I upgraded to a Park View corner room with because I wanted to see the New Year Eve firework close to Navy Pier. The corner room is a slightly larger room than the typical one and has a wrap-around balcony so you can see to sides of the city (I have some reservation about this "upgrade", will elaborate later).
Other choices you can have is with and without balcony. For those without chilldren, I will definite recommend the room with Balcony because it's nice to be able to go outside. However, those with kids should probably forgo that option as I can definitely imagine a kid can climb over that rail and fall over.
The hotel cover the first 20 floor of the Aqua tower, and since it's in downtown Chicago, I definitely recommend asking for room in the higher floors so you can have a better view and get away from some of the street noise.
As I mentioned before, we upgraded to the corner room to get a better view of the city. There are 2 benefits and 1 big drawback to this: The main benefit is the expansive view of 2 sides of the building, and a much larger wraparound balcony. Another benefit is that you supposedly gain an extra 10~20% more space. However, the space you supposedly gain cannot be used. The room is designed to get as much of the useable view as possible in a rectangular area. They do that by putting the bathroom in the middle, so the room actually forms a "U" shape. You enter the room from one end of the U, and the bed is in the other end. The end result is that most of the space is completely wasted and unusable, and the room actually feels smaller than a regular non-corner room. Unless you plan on spending a lot of time on the wraparound balcony, I don't recommend getting the corner room. Other than that, the room is new, clean, and very modern. Bathroom has a separate stall for shower and toilet, and all the fixture feels very solid and nice.
Other things we liked about the hotel is the awesome fitness center that spans 2 floors. There's a large 25m outdoor pool that can be wonderful in the summer, and a 2 lane indoor pool that's useful in the Chicago winter. Hot tub is available inside and outside as well adjacent to the pools. On the other level, you have a very large fitness center with all the standard free and fixed weight equipment, as well as a small half-court basketball court. There is also top notch with a roomy Sauna and Steam room and a full service spa that my wife and I really enjoyed. The fitness center and pool is shared with the locals who own/rent the condo/apartment upstairs. All the locals we met were very nice, but I can imagine that after a few years they may get a bit tired of all the hotel guests sharing the facilities with them. There were also a lot of kids running around the fitness center, and the wait time for the elevator seems a bit long at times. Nevertheless, I thought this fitness center is the best of any business-level hotels I've ever stayed at.
We didn't get to try the Filini restaurant or the room service, but we did try the bar one the first floor. The food/drink/service were all on par with our expectation, but nothing too special.
All in all, we really enjoyed the stay at the hotel. There were a few kinks that should be worked out soon (no towels in the fitness center, 2 of the 4 elevator were down for a period of our stay), but I'll definitely come back next time I'm in Chicago.
Choose Balcony if you don't have kids.
Do not get the corner room upgrade.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review! I am happy that you enjoyed your overall stay at the hotel, but would like to apologize that your room type was not what you were expecting. We do offer several different layouts, so hopefully the room on your next visit will be more to you taste! We are also looking forward to opening the outdoor pool once the weather warms up and are happy to be able to offer both an indoor and outdoor option for our guests! Thanks again for the review! I look forward to seeing you back on your next visit to the city!
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All the best,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.